A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 25, 2022, at St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church in St. Martinville for Charles Thomas Bienvenu, Jr., 85, who died on Friday, January 21, 2022, at his home in St. Martinville surrounded by his family.
Visiting hours will be observed at Pellerin Funeral Home in St. Martinville on Monday, January 24, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and on Tuesday, January 25, from 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. A rosary will be prayed at 7:00 p.m. on Monday.
Interment will follow at St. Michael Cemetery in St. Martinville.
Tommy was born on Christmas Day in 1936 to Charles Thomas Bienvenu, Sr. and Isaure Blanchard Bienvenu. He was raised in St. Martinville and graduated from St. Martinville Senior High School in 1954. He furthered his education at Tulane University, attaining a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1959. While at Tulane, Tommy was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon social fraternity and the Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity. After graduation, he served in the United States Marine Corps from 1959 to 1962. During his service he was stationed in Japan and New York City, and was honorably discharged from the military in 1962, achieving the rank of Captain. After his honorable discharge from the military in 1962, Tommy returned to his home in St. Martinville, where he opened a law practice. In 1964, he married his beloved wife, Roberta Ann “Bobbie” Thomas. From 1966 to 1976, he also served as an Assistant District Attorney for the 16th Judicial District.
In 1976, Tommy was elected to serve as a judge of the 16th Judicial District Court, which consists of St. Martin, Iberia, and St. Mary Parishes. He served with distinction until his retirement in 1995. After his retirement from the bench, Tommy entered into an “of counsel” relationship with Haik, Minvielle & Grubbs, LLP in New Iberia. He also served as a judge of the Tribal Courts of Appeal for the Sovereign Nation of Chitimacha, the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, and the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe. In 1981, he served on the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal by special assignment of the Louisiana Supreme Court.
Tommy was also active in his church, St. Martin de Tours, where he served as a lector for many years, and was a member of the Knights of Columbus. When his children were younger, he was an active member of their school boards. He served on the Board of Directors for Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, Inc. from 1987 to 1992. Tommy also enjoyed participating in a broad range of social and community activities and at various times was a member of the Catahoula Hunting Club, the Woodmen of the World, the Rotary Club, the Jaycees, the Tulane NROTC Alumni Association, and the National Wild Turkey Federation.
Tommy was an avid fan of the Tulane Green Wave and was a member (and former President) of the Teche Chapter of the Tulane Green Wave Club. For many years, Tommy was a faithful attendee of Tulane football, basketball, and baseball games. When he could not attend games in person, he watched them on television or listened to them on the radio.
After their respective retirements, Tommy and Bobbie traveled the world, going to such diverse places as Europe, Egypt, Australia, and Antarctica. Tommy was proud to say that he had visited all seven continents.
Tommy is survived by his wife, Roberta Ann “Bobbie” Thomas Bienvenu, and their six children, Camille Bienvenu Poché, married to Malcolm Poché, Charles Thomas “Chuck” Bienvenu, III, Claire Bienvenu, married to Frank G. Spiess, III, Claudette Bienvenu, married to Andrew Mendez, Albert Thomas Bienvenu, and Bennett T. Bienvenu; eight grandchildren, Trent and Elizabeth Poché, Vivienne and Julia Spiess, Isabella and Landon Mendez, and Cort and Chloe Bienvenu; and two great granddaughters, Quinn and Fiona Poché. He is also survived by his sister, Gloria Bienvenu Callais, of Golden Meadow, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, John Bienvenu.
Pallbearers will be Tommy’s sons and sons-in-law. Honorary pallbearers are Trent Poché, Cort Bienvenu, Landon Mendez, Theodore M. “Ted” Haik, Jr., and Luther Frederick.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Miles Perret Cancer Services, 2130 Kaliste Saloom Road, Lafayette, LA 70508; www.milesperret.org.
Pellerin Funeral Home, 112 New Market St., St. Martinville, LA 70582 (337-332-2111), is in charge of arrangements.